Kitchen Tips

6 Kiwi food charities you can support this Christmas to spread festive cheer

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year for many, but for some Kiwis it can be filled with more struggle than joy. We’ve rounded up some incredible charities you can support this year, to help them bring a little more hope and happiness to deserving families.

By Harriet Keown

1. Christmas Box

Since 2001, Christmas Box has been working to bring joy to Kiwis over the Christmas period, in the form of a humble cardboard box filled with non-perishable food, pantry essentials and a few special Christmas goodies. The boxes are funded by generous donations and sponsors, packed by cheerful volunteers and distributed by community organisations to families with an identified need.
Just $30 is enough to make up a box that will feed a family of 4-6, providing breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for over a week. To some people these boxes will just look like a box of staple pantry ingredients, but for many New Zealand families a Christmas Box brings much-needed hope and excitement into their home over a stressful period.
Donate to Christmas Box here.

2. The Foodbank Project

Similarly, The Foodbank Project runs an annual Christmas appeal where people can donate money to fund Christmas bundles of food and festive treats. They are hoping to fill and distribute over 15000 food parcels this Christmas, relieving the pressure that the busy time of year can put on family budgets and injecting some Christmas joy into their households.
You can choose between funding a small, medium or large Christmas bundle for different levels of donations, which include everything from tea bags and long-life milk to fruit juice, Christmas crackers and whole free-range chickens. So instead of buying another novelty Christmas gift for a random family member this year, why not choose to spread some Christmas cheer to those who need it instead?
Donate to The Foodbank Project here.

3. Good Bitches Baking

Get creative in the kitchen this festive season to support Good Bitches Baking, a charity network on a mission to "make Aotearoa the kindest place on earth" by spreading the goodness of delicious baked treats. It's a simple idea: delivering baking made by volunteers to people who are going through a tough time, whether that is families with children in hospital or loved ones in hospices, women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence, or people using food banks and soup kitchens.
There's no doubt that life's struggles are made even worse during a period that is meant to be filled with happiness, so there is no better time to be spreading sweetness in the form of a baked treat. Get in touch with your local chapter of Good Bitches Baking to either provide some festive baking or deliver them to the wholly-deserving recipients – it's the little things in life that make all the difference!
Contact your local chapter of Good Bitches Baking here.

4. Eat My Lunch

What if I told you that every time you bought lunch during the week, a fresh and healthy meal was also delivered to a well-deserving Kiwi kid? That's exactly what you can happen if you buy your workday lunches through Eat My Lunch, where every time someone orders a lunch for themselves, the social enterprise gives one school lunch to a kid who would have otherwise gone without. Over 2290 lunches are delivered daily to schools with an identified need across Auckland and Wellington, with each school distributing the lunches to the right children.
Over the Christmas period, Eat My Lunch has created a range of gourmet Christmas lunches – including a champagne ham roll or turkey salad with olives, fruit and a festive dessert. It's an easy (and doubly rewarding) way to share the love this Christmas, especially in a busy and expensive time of year where family food budgets might be spread extra thin.
Order your Christmas lunch here.

5. Bellyful

The challenges of life with a newborn baby or having young children with illnesses doesn't discriminate at Christmas time, and for families without a good support network it can make the festive season extra difficult. Bellyful is a charity helping to relieve some of the stress all year round by delivering homemade meals to families who need them, which can be a huge comfort for people in those tough circumstances.
Whether you can offer money, in-kind donations of food or cooking equipment, or your own time as a volunteer, supporting Bellyful can help bring sanity back into the lives of these struggling families during the festive season. Because what could be more heartening than a friendly face delivering a delicious meal when you need it most?
Donate to Bellyful here.

6. Local City Missions

In Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, city missions play a huge role in helping those in desperate need, and Christmas is their busiest and most important time of year. In Auckland and Christchurch, volunteers put on a huge Christmas feast for vulnerable and less-fortunate people, to ensure that everyone can join in on the festive spirit and so no one has to be alone for Christmas.
Contact your local mission to see what part you can play in helping everyone have a merry Christmas, from donating money, food or gifts, to volunteering your time at the lunch on Christmas Day. It might just become your new family tradition!
Contact your local mission here: